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Restoration of the Old Naval Hospital

Update - February 20, 2007

Friends Suggest Criteria for the Selection of a Tenant

In December 2006 the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital completed a document (see below) providing suggested criteria for the selection of a lessee for the Old Naval Hospital.

The major goal of these Criteria is to insure that a full, quality restoration of the building is undertaken, and when finished, that the building will be maintained in such a way to preserve the restoration.

This document was transmitted to the Office of Property Management (OPM) in December. It was again transmitted to the new Director of OPM, upon his taking office in January.

The criteria were developed to help guide the decision-making process for establishing requirements for any lessee that would take over the historical building, in terms of maintenance, restoration and preservation of the building.

It takes no position on the final use of the property.

The criteria closely follow the precepts laid out by the community, who had several formal and informal opportunities for input, as well as from the Urban Land Institute, which did a complete study of the property and from studies done by the Friends. Many of these criteria were also incorporated in the original RFP issued in 2003, a process which (former) Mayor Williams decided not to implement, since he decided that the City should finance and restore the building.

(In the interim, the new Director of OPM decided to issue another RFP in February 2007. This new RFP does not incorporate significant parts of this document, nor does it contemplate providing adequate time for respondents to put together plans for the restoration, maintenance and use of the building. We are trying to work with OPM to correct these deficiencies.)

Criteria for Selecting a Tenant for the Old Naval Hospital - January 2007


The Friends of the Old Naval Hospital have been working since 1999 towards the restoration of the Old Naval Hospital. The end product of that work, is preliminary to the building being used as an integral, vibrant part of the Capitol Hill community. Any use of this historical icon must be conditioned by the on-going need for the preservation and maintenance of the buildings and grounds.

To that end, we have developed the following criteria, to assure that the final restoration is not damaged or destroyed by unwitting uses of the building inconsistent with the continuing preservation of the property. The Friends have carefully reviewed the written documentation developed over the period of restoration from many sources and have closely followed the clear recommendation of the Urban Land Institute directing that this hero building be used in a manner that will preserve its integrity, as well as reviewing the formal and informal directives from other technical documents, community and neighbor inputs and suggestions from leaders and participant of programs in similar buildings.

Selection Criteria

Each proposal will be evaluated to determine the extent to which it addresses the operational and maintenance requirements of the Property, and promotes a new and contributing use to the community. In addition, each proposal will be evaluated with respect to:

A. Proposal Feasibility Plan - (70%)

1. Interior Restoration and Occupation (Use) plan (30%) - Lessee must provide a detailed restoration plan for the interior as well as a plan for occupation, which meet or exceed (1) these selection criteria (see especially Sections B, C and D below under Process for Selection of Lessee;) and (2) the preferential selection criteria detailed in Section Preferential Selection Criteria; below.

2. Management of the Building (20%) - Lessee must be qualified to do interior restoration or must contract a qualified third party to do so.

3. Financial Feasibility (20%) - Lessee must show financial viability for redevelopment, and use of the Property.

B. Lessee must be capable of delivering plans and specifications within 2 months of execution of the lease (20%)

Lessee must submit plan to restore and preserve the interior of the structure in compliance with District and Federal Historic Preservation requirements and principles.

C. Minority and Local Participation (10%)

Selection Process

All proposals received shall be reviewed/evaluated by a Review Board that will consist of five people selected by the Office of Property Management (including an official from the historic preservation office), plus an ex-officio member from the community. The Review Board will make a recommendation for the selection of the prospective lessee to Director of the Office of Property Management.

Process for Selection of Lessee

A. System for evaluation

A qualitative system of evaluation will be used by the Review Board to evaluate each proposal.

The first evaluation will be solely based on whether a proposal "meets" versus "does not meet" the Selection Criteria, indicated above.

The second evaluation will involve considering the various selection factors (and specifically considering the Preferential Selection Criteria (E. below)) for each bidder, and ordering each proposal from highest to lowest. The respondents who submit the four highest-ranked proposals will be asked to then provide "best and final offers."

After the best and final offers proposals are submitted, the Review Board will again consider the Preferential Selection Critera (E. below) for each best and final offer, and then recommend a lessee for the property.

B. Qualitative requirements of lessee and/or contractors for restoration and occupation (use) of the building. The bidder must show one overriding function of the building, show experience, background, or interest in historical building use, have experience and knowledge of restoration of historical buildings and show examples of its sensitivity to the restoration of historical buildings or otherwise have a contractor as a part of its development team with such knowledge and experience.

C. Restoration plan for the Interior

A developed, written project plan must be submitted referencing the established guidelines from the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER), the U.S. Secretary of the Interior standards, and the District of Columbia Office of Historic Preservation standards for restoring the interior of the building.

Original doors, hardware, trim and similar original elements in the Property that are identified in the District of Columbia Office of Property Management preliminary assessment and the Rehabilitation of the Old Naval Hospital: A Technical Report (Friends of the Old Naval Hospital, January 2002) should be retained.

Strong preference will be given to potential lessees who make use of the original interior configuration of the building, with as little interior demolition as possible. A plan must be submitted showing specific uses of the interiors, including architectural drawings. This plan will include any environmental clean up needed.

D. Management

This plan will include detailed cost estimates of the various elements associated with specific time frames for start and finish of each of those elements. Proof is required of a substantial agreement that exists with an architect or architectural group that has experience in restoring buildings to national standards. Continuing maintenance for the building and grounds must be included in this plan.

E. Preferential Selection Criteria – those proposals which best address the following criteria will receive preference over proposals that do not address or only partially address the following criteria. Preferential Selection criteria are numbered in order of importance.

1. Community access

Extra consideration will be awarded for the provision of space for community meetings and events, historical displays and presentations and some office space for community organizations such as the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The lessee should provide reasonable access to the building and grounds for educational and research purposes for community groups, between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 pm daily. This is not a requirement that the building be open every day during those hours. A plan for any and all potential community groups or organizations to have access and use must be provided.

2. Signature use of the building

Preference shall be given to potential lessees who will be the sole tenant of the building (excepting community uses) over respondents that envision two or more organizations involved in the occupancy of the building.

3. Low impact use--interior, exterior and grounds

Consideration shall be given for low impact uses (as described in the Urban Land Institute Report), for example, reduced on-site parking to help preserve the building.

4. Impact on Surrounding Neighborhood

Uses which will have a smaller impact on the surrounding neighborhood in terms of noise, litter, parking, security, lighting and night security, will be given preference over higher impact uses.

5. Eliminating the exterior fire escapes

Since these fire escapes are non-period, some significant effort should be made to eliminate the need for external fire escapes and provide for the installation of alternative safety equipment.

OPM may request clarification or such additional information as may be necessary to complete its review and evaluation of any accepted proposal. After the review board makes its recommendation, the Director will select a proposal whose submitter will be offered a lease for the Property. The Director may, at his/her sole discretion, reject any or all proposals and re-offer the Property.

This site is sponsored by the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital

Last updated November 12, 2008